This was always going to be a tricky one. Bohemian Rhapsody has stumbled and tripped its way to the big screen after one or two well-publicised setbacks (the main one being Sacha Baron Cohen quitting the film over creative differences). I think the glacial gestation has, unfortunately, caused a few problems with the final result: the pacing was uneven, the editing a little strained in places, and I thought that some of the segues used to jump us through time were a little naff in places, and MIA in others.
But you know what? It doesn’t really matter …
Let’s face it, if you’re a Queen fan, you’re going to see it anyway, no matter what anyone says (and good on ya!). If you’re not … well … I’d go see it anyway, because while it may not be the greatest biopic in the world, it certainly scores top marks for heart, performance, and believe it or not, laughs. This is a genuinely funny movie. The performance from Rami Malek was outstanding. The man has obviously worked himself to the marrow to capture Mercury’s genius and pain (and having seen the film, I’m more convinced than ever that true genius, real genius extracts a heavy price). Other standout performances:
Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor (who has written some fantastic songs as well as some really dire shit by the looks of it) and Tom Hollander whose understated performance as Jim Beach brought a lump to the throat. The film begins and ends with Live Aid, the performance that made Queen one of the greatest (if not the greatest) live band of all time.
Make no mistake: though the rest of the band features fairly heavily, the film is about Mercury, and I don’t have a problem with that.
Yes, not the greatest biopic ever, but sitting in your seat with a chill running down your spine with every foot stamp of We Will Rock You – well, that alone gets a ten out ten from me.